I got such a great response from my How I Do it Meal Time post and the Mommy Confessions, so I thought I would share a little insight into juggling life with two kids. I love hearing from other moms and how you manage it all!
Below is the low down on life with two kids, it is both easier and harder than I thought it would be.
The whole birthing experience was way easier. I think because my body had been thru it before it knew what to do. Pregnancy however was harder the second time around, way more taxing on my body. I felt like I was 90 years old towards the end, plus the varicose veins I got were horrible. Labor was much easier the second time and so was the recovery. I was in labor with Sterling 30 hours, this time was 4 hours start to finish. Recovery time with Sterling was a good six weeks, I bled a ton and I was in alot of pain down there. This time I took no pain medicine and the bleeding was much lighter and didn't last as long. Birth experience all around easier for sure.
One thing I forgot about after I had Sterling was the hormones. I was literally a crazy person for the first six weeks after Frances was born. I cried almost everyday. I know I had a touch of post partum- not in the sense that I wanted to hurt my children, I never felt like that at all, but just sad and overwhelmed. Around 5 weeks I started to feel like myself again. I did not take any meds but if you feel like you need meds afterwards because you are sad, totally go that route. Matt and I got into so many fights those first few weeks. Two kids takes a toll on a marriage, I expected him to do more but never communicated what and he just thought I was crazy. Since Matt works long hours I was used to single handily doing everything for Sterling but I quickly found I could not manage that with two. He didn't understand why I was so upset but then again do men ever truly get what we go through?? I forgot how hard the first 6 weeks were. You are happy not to be pregnant but its a whole different ballgame once that baby is out. New moms just know it gets easier after the first 5-6 weeks.
BOUNCING BACK AFTER
With both pregnancies I gained around 35lbs. I weighed in the hospital right after I had Frances and had only lost 10lbs- WTH. I lost another 10 in the next two weeks but the last 15 has been tricky as I knew it would be. Those lucky few who only gain 25lbs during pregnancy have it made. My sister bounced back so quickly after her son, that I thought I would too. I still have 6lbs to go to get to my prebaby weight and I really don't think I will drop it til I stop breast feeding or start working out hard. I know with Sterling by 6 months I felt and looked back to normal but for me the second time around is harder and longer to get back to normal. Not sure if my stomach will ever be the same though. I am more frustrated this time around ready to be back to normal but I know it takes time for your body to shrink back. With two the struggle is finding the time and energy to work out. I hope as Frances gets older and the weather warms up this will be easier.
NO TIME FOR ME
The biggest adjustment with two is there is literally no time for yourself. I have started showering and doing my hair at night just to have time to get it done. Mornings are usually too rushed to get it done and get the kids dressed and out the door. After I shower at night I crash in bed, I am too tired to even read most nights. I am on from 5:30 in the morning til 8:30 at night. and really even longer because Frances still wakes up 1-2 times a night. My body has gotten used to no sleep. I was beyond exhausted the first 3 weeks and then it just felt like the new normal. I can now function on little to no sleep. I have not been alone by myself in a very long time. I mean it has been four years since I was able to poop or pee alone- meanwhile Matt sleeps in and poops in silence. In my next life I am coming back as a man.
I had a hard time nursing Sterling. He never latched on right from the beginning so I had to do a mix of formula and breast milk from the get go. I lasted three months nursing him and then quit. It was too hard and my milk supply was too low. I was much happier after I quit. This time has been night and day different. Breastfeeding has been easy this time around- although I still swear it is the hardest part of having baby. You are always on demand and man do your nipples hurt. I nurse Frances every three hours now and we are on a good schedule. I only pump when I need bottle if I am going out. I have yet to introduce formula but plan to in the next week few weeks because I have some trips coming up. I don't know if I am just more laid back this time but I don't hate nursing like I did with Sterling. I know my milk supply is way better this time so that helps. The hardest part is dealing with Sterling while I nurse. He wants to climb all on me, punch my boobs, hit Frances in the face, anything to get attention because he knows it is my one on one time with Frances. That has been really difficult.
Thank goodness Sterling is in school 5 days a week. It has been nice to have alone time with Frances and bond with her. But I do miss my one on one time Sterling. Now that Frances is getting a bit older and we can space out feedings I want to carve time out for just me and him. Something that surprised me post baby was how needy Sterling has been and the fact that he has acted out alot. He has become very sassy and talks back all the time. I find myself getting angry and annoyed at him and I have to tell myself to take a deep breath and realize his world has been rocked too. For 4 years he had all my attention.
Are you surprised I made this a category?? Wine has been my saving grace post baby two. It helps me unwind and feel back to normal. I got many snarky comments on instagram about drinking while nursing. I do not get drunk or drink more than two drinks (although really it is no one business but mine and Matt's how much I drink but dang people can be so judgmental). My doctor said it is totally fine to have a glass of wine or two while nursing. If I drink more I dump my milk easy as that. You have to find that small thing that makes you happy and for me that is good wine- oh I have turned into such a wine snob post Frances since I don't drink much. My 1-2 glasses better be damn good. Mommy ain't got time for cheap wine. Find what makes you happy and incorporate it back in your life- exercise is next for me when I find the time.
The new happy hour- bath time.
GETTING SHIT DONE
In order to get anything accomplished I must do it while Sterling is in school or while he naps. He still naps most days and if he doesn't he takes the ipad back to room for quiet time. I run all my errands in the morning when it is just me and Frances. Then at naptime I do blog work, emails and cook dinner. Once Matt is home usually at night I straighten up and do laundry. It is a juggling act for sure. While it stresses me out to the max to have unmade beds and toys everywhere, I have learned with two sometimes you just have to let it go. Taking care of the kids is first priority so if I don't get to that I can't stress too much. Now that Frances is older I am finding I have a little more time to straighten up and clean up. I can't stand clutter everywhere but with kids its part of life now!
Call me crazy but I already think about wanting a third child- but not anytime soon. I grew up in a family of three and like that number. Frances has been a doll of a baby and as hard as it is, I love being a Mom. It is my life now, my kids are my greatest accomplishment and blessing. I can not imagine my life without these two sweet souls. It is a new kind of gratification, love, and happiness I never knew existed. Matt only wants two kids though, so three may not be in the cards for us, who knows. Either way I am immensely thankful for my two children and family of four!
I loved the quote below something important for us all to remember. How do you manage your kids?
and a few of my favorite baby essentials: